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Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It's culture. It's the essence of civilization and the art of living. - Robert Mondavi

10 Great Wines you should Buy and Cellar Now

Monday, March 19, 2012
Wine is one of the special things in life that can get exceedingly better with age. Unfortunately, collectible bottles get very expensive, and one of the biggest regrets I hear from collectors is that they didn’t start collecting great wines while they were young and affordable. I grew up watching my father’s wine cellar collection expand and was always excited when he’d make a trip down to the cellar and bring up special bottles to pair perfectly for holidays and special occasions. To me, this is one of the reasons I always came to associate wine with love, happiness, celebration, family, and festivities. The gift my Dad gave my husband and me for our wedding is very dear to my heart - he researched and selected 10 wonderful wines from around the world and nearby Napa that would age beautifully for the next 10 - 40 years, gifting us a case of each of them (they're currently being stored in perfect temp-controlled space in my Dad's cellar - photo credit above goes to Garrett Gaudini). This gift is perfect because as we grow older together, we’ll also be able to celebrate our marriage milestones by opening up these wines - and it's a good thing they aren't stored in our home here in San Francisco, because I'd be lying to say I wouldn't be tempted to open up a bottle or two before they've reached their prime. I look forward to growing old and enjoying these beautiful wines with my husband, family and friends for years to come. Below are the ten wines we’re cellaring, with notes and ratings - and if you're temped to open them, you can always consider storing them at an "off premise location" such as the Wine Center SF, where you can assure your "wine investment" is going to rest safe and sound until you're ready to enjoy!

2007 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa

By Stephen Tanzer
Saturated, deep ruby-red. Deep aromas of blackberry, blueberry, violet and minerals; Silky on entry, then dense and sweet in the middle, conveying an impression of power. There's a youthfully medicinal quality to the dark berry and licorice flavors but unusual early sweetness and pliancy to this long-aging wine. Finishes with very suave tannins and impressive persistence. This is actually 14.3% alcohol, which is unusually high here. Barrett could only recall the 2004, 1994 and 1978 surpassing 14%.
Rated 93 Points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

2007 Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon John C. Sullenger Vineyard
By Stephen Tanzer, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium ruby. Bordeaux-like nose offers cassis, black cherry, graphite, mocha and leather. Lush on entry, then suave in the middle, with redcurrant, plum, licorice and mocha flavors given definition by harmonious acidity. The dusty, building tannins spread out horizontally to coat the palate. (Nickel & Nickel was established in 1997 by the partners of Far Niente with the objective of producing 100%-varietal single-vineyard wines from Napa and Sonoma Valleys.)
Rated: 92 by Stephen Tanzer

2007 Palmaz Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa
This acclaimed vintage exhibits a concentrated balance of dark fruit flavors and opulent oak notes with beautiful transitions throughout. The structure of this wine promises to age elegantly with an abundance of fine grained tannins exhibiting our signature style of supple rich texture. This is a vintage of extraordinary depth and complexity and has lived up to all the anticipation for this renown Napa Valley vintage.
Rated 93 Points on Cellar Tracker.com

2009 Peay - Pinot Noir Ama Estate - USA - Sonoma Coast
By Josh Raynolds - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vibrant red. Pungent, sexy aromas of black raspberry, cherry pit, cocoa powder and incense. More serious, even masculine, compared to the Pomarium. Fresh and gripping, with impressive sappiness and extract to its dark berry and bitter cherry flavors. Finishes vibrant and very long, with palate-dusting floral, mineral and spice nuances. This is the inaugural vintage for this wine, which is sourced from a section of the Peay vineyard that's planted to a suitcase clone and Dijon clone 828.
Rated 93 points by Stephen Tanzer

2008 Figeac St Emilion
View From the Cellar - By John Gilman
The 2008 Figeac is a beautiful bottle in the making and was clearly one of the best 2008s on display at the UGC tasting. The bouquet is deep, complex and utterly classy, as it jumps from the glass in a stunning blend of red and black cherries, raw cocoa, tobacco smoke, coffee, complex soil tones and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and very elegant out of the blocks, with excellent mid-palate depth, ripe tannins and outstanding length and grip on the youthful and very pure finish. Figeac is of course raised in one hundred percent new wood, so it always shows a bit more flamboyantly at this early stage than wines such as Canon, and it will be very interesting to compare these two classics a decade or two down the road. A great vintage of Figeac. 2018-2045+.
Rated 94 points by Wine Enthusiast

2008 Montrose, St-Estèphe
View From the Cellar - By John Gilman
Château Montrose is making such profound and classic wines these days that it is hard not to argue that this is the golden age for this estate! The 2008 Montrose is a great, great wine in the making, as it offers up a deep and very complex nose of black cherries, cassis, Cuban cigars, a wonderfully complex base of gravel, espresso and cedar. On the palate the wine is deep, tight and very, very pure, with a rock solid core of fruit, stunning soil signature, plenty of firm tannins and plenty of lift on the backend from the superb acidity of this vintage. The finish here is very, very long, displays excellent focus and grip and is still very, very closed. This great wine will live forever, but will take at least a good dozen years to blossom. Under the direction of Jean Delmas, Château Montrose is the claret purists’ perfect wine. 2022-2100.
Rated 95 points Robert Parker, 94 Points by Wine Enthusiast

2008 Grands Echézeaux- Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret
View From the Cellar - By John Gilman
For as long as I can remember, Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret has produced one of the greatest examples of Grands Echézeaux in all of Burgundy, so it comes as no surprise that their 2008 is stupendous. The absolutely beautiful, youthful nose soars from the glass in an inspired mélange of dark berries, plums, espresso, woodsmoke, incipient notes of gamebird, a kaleidoscopically complex base of soil and a judicious base of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and very primary, with a rock solid core of fruit, laser-like focus, beautiful, nascent complexity, ripe, seamless tannins and tangy acidity lifting all these elements in a peacock’s tail of transparency and purity on the very long finish. This will be an absolutely brilliant example of the vintage, and a decade down the road, it may well prove that I have slightly underrated this beautiful wine. 2018-2060+.
Rated 95+

2006 Domenico Clerico Barolo Pajana
By Stephen Tanzer - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good full red-ruby. Knockout nose offers dark cherry, strawberry, dried flowers, cedar, tobacco, leather and musky spices. Silky and sweet on entry, then powerful in the middle, with a firm spine of acidity giving lift and cut to the wine's red fruit, tobacco and dried flower flavors. Offers a compelling balance of stuffing and energy, and has the sheer fruit extract to buffer its ripe tannins. This really spreads out to saturate the palate, and is riper and more harmonious than the 2005 bottling. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031.
Rated 93 points - StephenTanzer

2004 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2004 Prado Enea Gran Reserva is not quite as dense as the 2005 but is more expressive on the nose and rounder on the palate. Dark cherry, orange edge. Complex aromas, spicy, toasty, fine cocoa, fruit expression. Palate: powerful, full, rich, spicy, ripe tannins. Complex bouquet, spicy, fine wood and leaf, stewed fruit. Balanced, with body and nerve, tasty, ample. It is a complete effort that should prove to be one of the best Prado Eneas Muga has produced.
Rated 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2007 Le Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz
The Wine Advocate
The prodigious 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz (85% Grenache aged totally in foudres and the rest Syrah, which is aged in small barrels) has terrific floral, raspberry, and black cherry notes intermixed with a striking minerality and precision. A Musigny grand cru Burgundian style of wine, with power and elegance, a thoroughly compelling flavor profile, and a rich, intense finish, the tannins are sweet and the well-integrated acidity gives uplift to the wine. Stunningly proportioned yet never heavy, this is a sensational wine that should only get better over the next few years and last for 15 or more.
95 Points - The Wine Advocate


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